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Men's Basketball Travels To LSU Saturday 01/15/2021

Men's Basketball Travels To LSU Saturday
1/15/2021 | Men's Basketball | FROM USC SPORTS | BY GCF STAFF
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina (3-2, 1-0 SEC) travels to face (RV/-) LSU (9-2, 4-1 SEC) on Saturday night in Baton Rouge in an SEC matchup at the Maravich Center. Mike Morgan (play-by-play) and Mark Wise (analyst) will have the call for the SEC Network broadcast, while Derek Scott (play-by-play) and Casey Manning (analyst) will handle the call over the air on the Gamecock Sports Network.

Arena: Maravich Center (13,215)
Broadcast: SEC Network
Play-By-Play: Mike Morgan
Analyst: Mark Wise
Radio: Gamecock Radio Network
In Columbia: 107.5 The Game
Play-By-Play: Derek Scott
Analyst: Casey Manning
Sirius: - | XM: 381 | Internet: 971
Watch: WatchESPN/ESPN App
Live StatsGamecocksOnline.com
LSU Series: Carolina leads 18-17
In Baton Rouge: LSU leads 8-6
Series Trend: The Tigers have won two-straight in the series
Last Meeting: 86-80 LSU win on Feb. 22, 2020, in Columbia

> South Carolina resumes SEC play when it travels to face LSU on Saturday in Baton Rouge. Tip time vs. the Tigers is set for 8:30 p.m. ET on the SEC Network.
> Due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, South Carolina head coach Frank Martin, assistant coach Chuck Martin, and Doug Edwards, who handles student-athlete development for the team, will not be in attendance in Baton Rouge on Saturday. Assistant coach Bruce Shingler will be the acting head coach for the matchup vs. the Tigers, along with assistant coach Will Bailey, video coordinator Brian Steele, and special assistant to the head coach John Reynolds.
> Carolina opened SEC play on Jan. 6 with a 78-54 win over visiting Texas A&M at Colonial Life Arena. Junior guard AJ Lawson scored a career high 30 points in the win, R-sophomore guard Jermaine Couisnard added 15 points and sophomore forward Wildens Leveque scored a season high 10 points for the Gamecocks.
> The Gamecocks posted a 78-71 win over Florida A&M on Jan. 2 in their home opener, using a 9-2 run over the final five minutes to secure the win. Junior guard AJ Lawson's then-career high nine made field goals saw him post a team best 25 points in the win, sophomore guard Jermaine Couisnard added 15, and junior forward Justin Minaya posted his first double-double of the season with 10 points and a team high 10 rebounds. The Gamecocks had nine players available for the contest.
> South Carolina returned to the court for the first time since Dec. 5 when it hosted Florida A&M on Jan. 2. The contest marked the Gamecocks' first game in 28 days due to a combination of positive COVID-19 tests, contact tracing and subsequent quarantining of individuals within the South Carolina program.
> The Gamecocks held a halftime lead on the road at No. 10 Houston (Dec. 5), however, the Cougars battled back in the second half and closed a 77-67 win. Junior forward Justin Minaya hit all three of his attempts from beyond the arc and led Carolina with 13 points in the loss.
> On Nov. 29, Carolina held Tulsa scoreless for 9+ minutes in the second half and used a 15-0 run to close a 69-58 win over the Golden Hurricane at the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City. The win was Carolina's first on the year, and improved the Gamecocks' record to 1-1 after opening action in Kansas City with a 78-62 loss to Liberty (Nov. 28).
> Junior guard AJ Lawson was named to the Hall of Fame Classic All-Tournament Team after a pair of double-figure scoring outings at the event. Lawson led the Gamecocks with 12 vs. Liberty, before a 17-point outing behind four 3s in the win over Tulsa. On the weekend, Lawson was 6-of-13 (46.2%) from range, while also dishing out three assists and collecting three steals.
> R-sophomore guard Jermaine Couisnard led Carolina with 20 points in the win vs. Tulsa. It marked the third 20-point outing of his career. Dating back to the start of SEC play last season, he has now hit double-figures in 19 of his last 22 games.
> Martin is 33-46 (.417) against ranked opponents as a head coach. His teams have four wins over opponents ranked in the top five, and two wins over opponents who are ranked No. 1.
> A pair of Gamecocks collected preseason honors from both the media and SEC coaches during the preseason. Junior guard AJ Lawson earned preseason All-SEC Second-Team accolades from the media, while Lawson (First Team) and Couisnard (Second Team) were honored by the SEC coaches on the preseason teams.

> The Tigers are led by head coach Will Wade in his fourth season in Baton Rouge
> LSU is 9-2 on the year and 4-1 in SEC play
> In home games, LSU is 7-0, including 3-0 in SEC home games.
> Four average double-figure points for the Tigers, led by freshman Cameron Thomas' 21.8 points per game, which leads the SEC. Trendon Watford (18.3/4th in the SEC), Javonte Smart (15.2) and Darius Days (13.9) also average double figures.
> Days paces the team with 8.5 rebounds per contest, which is second in the SEC.
> The Tigers' offense is averaging 86.2 points per game, which is second in the league, and the LSU defense is holding opponents to 70.5 points per game, which is seventh in the SEC.
> LSU leads the league, and is 23rd nationally at the free throw line, hitting 77.2 percent of its attempts. The Tigers also lead the league from the floor, hitting 49.4 percent of their attempts, which is 26th nationally.

> Head coach Frank Martin is in his ninth season leading the Gamecocks in 2020-21. He is joined by assistant coaches Will BaileyChuck Martin and Bruce Shingler, while Andy Assaley is the director of operations for the squad.
> Junior guard AJ Lawson is Carolina's top returning scorer after pacing the team with 13.4 points per game last season. He averaged the same during his rookie campaign, and is just 137 points away from reaching 1,000 for his career.
> Five who started the majority of SEC games last season return to the court for Carolina. Lawson, sophomore guard Jermaine Couisnard, who paced the team in league play at 12.1 points per game, junior forward Keyshawn Bryant, junior forward Justin Minaya (missed nine SEC games due to injury last season) and junior forward Alanzo Frink.
> South Carolina returns a core group from last season's squad that finished the shortened campaign with an 18-13 overall record. The Gamecocks return three of their top five scorers, including Lawson (13.4 ppg), Couisnard (12.1 ppg) and junior forward Keyshawn Bryant (9.1 ppg). Junior forward Justin Minaya, who missed nine games last season due to injury, added 7.8 points per game in 2019-20.
> From last season, the biggest absence from the lineup will be graduated four-year starter Maik Kotsar. Kotsar had a career year, averaging 11.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, while also leading the Gamecocks in blocks (1.1 per game) and steals at 1.5 per outing in 2019-20. Kotsar, who was a starter during his rookie season on Carolina's 2017 Final Four squad, also played a team high 30.4 minutes per game a year ago.

Tre-Vaughn Minott, a freshman center from Montreal, has joined the Gamecocks and is immediately eligible for competition. Minott has been at the NBA Academy Latin America since Sept. 2019. During his time at the Academy, his squad competed at the National Prep School Invitational in Rhode Island and at The Skill Factory Tournament of Champions in Atlanta in 2020.

> The Gamecocks have a quick turn
around and are back on the road when they travel to face No. 17/16 Missouri next Tuesday in Columbia, Mo. Tip time for the contest is set for 7 p.m. ET with the broadcast set for the SEC Network.


Edited by FeatheredCock

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